It’s not hard to find a decently-priced diving watch. They’re probably the most often-imitated style of timekeeper, with many a brand attempting to make it their own. Normally they end up making a carbon copy of a Submariner equipped with a mass-produced Chinese movement; not so Maen.
Founded by a pair of Dutchmen with a love of Manhattan – or New Amsterdam, back in in 1626 – Maen takes the cosmopolitan vibe of the city and runs with it. The name, in fact, comes from the ship that first discovered the island for the Dutch: the Halve Maen (or, ‘half moon’). The result is a trio of timepieces honouring the island – the refined Manhattan 40, the elegant Brooklyn and this month’s Impulse Buy, the Hudson Automatic.
The reason this piece stands out isn’t that it’s Maen’s first automatic, but that it’s a nice twist on a tried and tested diving design. Named after Manhattan’s famous river, it has all the necessary components of a diver: 200m water resistance, a unidirectional rotating bezel and plenty of lume.
However, its slimmer bezel, cleaner design and interesting little touches – the hands are especially cool – all point to a much more thoughtful stylistic school than the usual ‘monkey see, monkey do’ approach. It’s handsome in the black, but our personal favourite is the blue-dialled model.
What’s more, it’s equipped with the fantastic ETA 2824-2 Elaboré automatic movement. Not to get too much into calibre specifics, but this movement has over the years earned its workhorse reputation. It’s not the most elaborate, haute horology movement in the world but it gets the job done, time and time again. It’s a seriously solid piece of work.
The same can be said of the wider watch too, of course. The founders may be Dutch and the watches may reference New York more than Geneva, but this is pure Swiss watchmaking. The watches are assembled by the beautiful Lake Lugano, near the Swiss-Italian border. It may be slightly away from the main traditional watch hubs, but the area is home to some great watch talent.
It’s talent which Maen has utilised to create a clean, more elegant type of diving watch with all the necessary features for use underwater. Plus you’re getting a well-known Swiss movement for a smidge under €500 – that’s around £430 at present, though god knows what it’ll be next week. It could be better, could be worse, but either way the Hudson Automatic will be well worth the money.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Maen Hudson 38 Automatic (Date / No Date)
Case/Dial: 38mm diameter x 46mm height x 12mm thickness, stainless steel, 120 click unidirectional stainless steel bezel, jet black/blue dial
Water Resistance: 100m / 10 bar / 330ft
Frequency: 28 800 a/h (4 Hz)
Movement: Cal. CETA 2824-2, automatic (Elaboré Grade)
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Sweep second and Date function
Power Reserve: 38h
Strap: Satin brushed stainless steel bracelet and nato strap
Price: €499 (inc. VAT), available end of May 2019
Pre-order at maenwatches.com